BOSTON (CBS) – Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said he has spoken to both Tim Wakefield and Jason Varitek about 2012, but it does not sound like either are in Boston’s future plans.
Cherington said from the Winter Meetings in Dallas he has spoken with both players, which was owed to them after their years of service with the team.
“I have a great deal of respect for both and feel like the best thing for the team and the best thing for them is, if there’s not a real role on the team, I’m not sure it’s fair, I’m not sure it’s the right thing for them or for the team, but we haven’t gotten to that point yet. I’ll talk to them again when we get closer to that,” Cherington said from Dallas.
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“We’re not ready to commit to anything,” said Cherington. “I have spoken to both, and plan to talk to them both again. I certainly will do so before we make any final decision.”
Wakefield joined the Red Sox in 1995, Varitek in 1997. Both will be in their 40’s when next season begins.
Boston does have potential replacements on the roster, with Wakefield’s spot in the rotation possibly going to either Alfredo Aceves or Daniel Bard, who could become a starter after serving as the team’s set-up man last season. Cherington said both Aceves and Bard should prepare for Spring Training as starters.
“We’re continuing to look at all alternatives to bolster the pitching staff; both in free agents and trades,” said the Sox GM. “We feel that we have some real good internal options also. I would expect both Daniel Bard and Aceves to prepare for Spring Training as starters.”
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As for Varitek, minor league prospect Ryan Lavarnway could backup Jarrod Saltalamacchia after a decent 17-game stint in the majors at the end of 2011. Lavarnway hit .231 with two home runs and eight RBI in 39 at-bats.